Germany – ✞ Kölner Dom ✟ The Cologne Cathedral ✞

After having a great time in Heidelberg, we finally made our way and arrived in Cologne.
Yes, we’re in Germany!!
Of course, since we’re in Cologne a.k.a Köln – no visit to this city would be complete without paying homage to the majestic, magnificent & most famous landmark here…known as; The Cologne Cathedral!
(Click the links above to see more!!)
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The Cologne Cathedral
-Kölner Dom-
It can be seen from nearly every point in the city center and from many places elsewhere: The magnificent Cologne Cathedral hovers above the roofs and chimneys of the city.
It is not only used as a point of orientation but is the pride of the people in Cologne. The panorama of the city has been dominated by the Cathedral’s gigantic pair of towers.
An interesting fact: The North Tower is 157.38 meters and is 7 cm higher than the South Tower, ever since their completion in 1880.
The Cathedral is still the second highest building in Cologne after the telecommunications tower. Its footprint is no less impressive, with the full length of the Cathedral measuring about 145 meters and the cross nave 86 meters.
In comparison, a football pitch is “only” around 100 by 70 meters!!
The total area of the Cathedral measures almost 8000 square meters and has room for more than 20,000 people!!!
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The History of Kölner Dom
The Gothic interior of Cologne Cathedral in Germany
The foundation stone of this Gothic Cathedral was first laid on 15 August 1248, on the celebration of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. 
The Tomb of the Three Kings
Apparently, the old Cathedral was no longer sufficiently representative to house the mortal remains of the Three Kings.
The remains of the Three Kings of which Archbishop Rainald von Dassel brought back to the Cathedral city in 1164, from the conquered city of Milan. 
 
These relics made the Cathedral one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in Europe.
In the early 16th century, building of the Cathedral was stopped suddenly – partly due to lack of money, partly due to lack of interest.
At this point in time… the chancel, the lower section of the South Tower with the bell tower as well as the long nave and the cross nave were completed only up to the lower arcades. 
 
The North Tower then, was almost completely nonexistent. 
For more than 300 years, the city’s panorama was dominated by the mighty torso with a huge building crane on the incomplete South Tower.
Around the turn of the 19th century the supporters of the German Romantic movement reawakened public interest in the completion of the Cathedral thanks to their enthusiasm for the Middle Ages.

Continuation and completion of the building soon became a matter of national interest to the Germans.

Then, in 1842 King Friedrich Wilhelm IV laid the foundation stone marking the start & continuation of building works, once again.

The Cathedral was finally completed in 1880 – in accordance with the plan originating from the Middle Ages – in a record time of just 38 years.
It is nothing short of a miracle that, although badly damaged, Cologne Cathedral survived the Second World War in spite of extensive bombing.

Nowadays, in this era of peace, the main factors affecting the Cathedral are only weather and environmental influences.


Presently, over 80 stonemasons, glaziers, roofers and other specialists are constantly at work on the maintenance and restoration of the Cologne Cathedral, preserving it for future generations to come.

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The Magnificent Interior of his Holy Grandness

The stone mass seems to rise – almost weightlessly up to the 43 meter – high, Baldachin-style arches.
The narrow main nave that leads to the chancel is accompanied by two side naves.

In the northern side nave, the light shines through five spectacular glass windows, which stem from the later years of Cologne glass paintings.

(I don’t mean to be rude, but it looked like an Iphone screen to me!)
(I Iphones, btw!)

These five spectacular glass windows complete with beautiful paints, date all the way back to the year: 1507!

 
In 2007, a totally new lighting concept was created in the southern cross nave of the cathedral. The light, plain glass window that had replaced a window destroyed during the Second World War was removed.


Gerhard Richter, an artist living in Cologne, created a new work of art out of endless colored squares covering the 100 meter squared area, which is in tune with the visions of the master builders from the Middle Ages.
Colorful Mosaic squares on painted glass in the Cologne Cathedral

The moment the first rays of the sun hit these windows and started to penetrate the glass…let me tell you – Okay, I don’t know what to tell you…but I felt I was already dead, experiencing heaven for the first time.

It was a truly beautiful and magnificent sight to behold!!

When sunlight shines through, the Kölner Dom is transformed into a colorful, underwater psychedelic dream!

The old, yet grand & majestic interior of the cathedral was painted with more colors than a rainbow has, charming the place back to life.

Dumbstruck in awe at the beauty of holiness, I have never felt this sense of inner peace before.
(It even made me stop for a moment to rethink my faith)

Nope, not even in the Vatican.

And damn..it sure felt good to be “dead”!

Then, there’s the holy altar of pure bronze that was built by Elmar Hillebrand in 1960…
Behind this lies the high chancel with the choir ambulatory – one of the finest sanctuaries in the Western world.

The choir stalls have 104 seats making them the largest in Germany. The chancel paintings were added in around 1340.

Above these, you will see the older chancel pillar sculptures of Jesus, Mary and the 12 Apostles.

In addition to the Adoration of the Magi, the entire circle of glass windows in the upper floor of the central nave depicts a further 48 royal figures.
Behind the high altar, the Shrine of the Three Kings rises up; the relics of Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar – they are the city patrons of Cologne.

Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar rest here alongside the relics of Saints Felix and Nabor and Saint Gregory of Spoleto.

This impressive work of medieval gold craftsmanship surpasses all other shrines in the Western world in terms of size and grandeur.

The Shrine of the Three Kings measures at 153 cm high, 220 cm long, 110 cm wide and weighs approximately 300 kg(s)!!
On the way to the choir ambulatory, you pass under the organ loft.

The Gero Crucifix hangs in the crucifix chapel and is the oldest remaining large sculpture of the crucified Christ this side of the Alps.

The oldest window in the Cathedral – from around 1260, can still be found in its original position in the Axis Chapel.

The Axis Chapel is also known as the Chapel of the Three Kings and it features topically related scenes from the New and Old Testaments in two parallel rows.
Another large work of art can be found in the chancel of Mary’s Chapel.

It is a triple-winged altar picture, also known as a Triptych and was painted by Stefan Lochner for the chapel.

This Triptych portrays the city’s saints – the Three Holy Kings, St. Ursula and St. Gereon along with their fellow martyrs.
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Enjoy the pictures!!

~Thank You!~
hidekiuriel

About Joshua Hideki

Hi! I'm Hideki. You can call me Josh! ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ Welcome!!~ This is a Travel Blog covering Japan, and many other bits & pieces of my personal life. Photography, Blogging, Fashion & Traveling in Style. A travel guide for everyone with these passions. Absorb the mesmerizing atmosphere, take in amazing sights & let the enchanting ambiance take you away as you embrace different cultures & see the world through my eyes - my Eternal Memories. Visit my Blog at: JoshuaHideki.com ! Come discover Japan from the inside with me and also we'll provide you with the best destinations to visit; and that includes the rest of the World too! Please enjoy! Discover Japan & Travel the World with me!! Life is precious, you only have one so live it to the fullest!

7 thoughts on “Germany – ✞ Kölner Dom ✟ The Cologne Cathedral ✞

  1. i love this place so much

  2. Great photos ; D

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  5. […] many places of worship, of many different religions that can be found all around. There are Catholic Churches, Christian Churches, Chinese Temples, Japanese Buddhist Temples & Japanese Shinto Shrines; and […]

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